Elard Koch, PhD

Chairman, Head of Research

  • Original Research Articles (full text). Koch E, Chireau M, Pliego F, Stanford J, Haddad S, Calhoun B, Aracena P, Bravo M, Gatica S, Thorp J. Abortion legislation, maternal healthcare, fertility, female literacy, sanitation, violence against women and maternal deaths: a natural experiment in 32 Mexican states. BMJ Open. 2015;5(2):e006013


  • Koch E. The Epidemiology of Abortion And Its Prevention in Chile. Issues Law Med. 2015 Spring;30(1):71-85. Sandoval D, Chacón J, Muñoz R, Henríquez Ó, Koch E, Romero T. [Influence of psychosocial factors on adherence to antihypertensive drug therapy: results from a Cardiovascular Health Program cohort followed in the Metropolitan Region of Santiago, Chile]. Rev Med Chil. 2014;142(10):1245-52.


  • Koch E. Impact of Reproductive Laws on i Mortality: The Chilean Natural Experiment. The Linacre Quarterly 2013;80(2):151-160.

  • Gonzales R, Koch E, Poblete JA, Vera C, Muñoz H, Carroli G, et al. Consenso salud materna para Chile en el nuevo milenio. Rev Chil Obstet Ginecol 2013;78(2): 142-7


  • Koch E, Thorp J, Bravo M, Gatica S, Romero CX, Aguilera H, Ahlers I. Women’s Education Level, Maternal Health Facilities, Abortion Legislation and Maternal Deaths: a Natural Experiment in Chile from 1957 to 2007. PloS ONE 2012: 7(5):e36613.


  • Koch E, Aracena P, Gatica S, Bravo M, Huerta-Zepeda A, Calhoun B. Fundamental discrepancies in abortion estimates and abortion-related mortality: A reevaluation of recent studies in Mexico with special reference to the International Classification of Diseases. Int J Women Health 2012;4:613-23.


  • Sandoval D, Bravo M, Koch E, Gatica S, Ahlers I, Henríquez O, Romero T. Overcoming Barriers in the Management of Hypertension: The Experience of the Cardiovascular Health Program in Chilean Primary Health Care Centers. Int J Hypertens 2012:405892

  • Koch E, Aracena P, Bravo M, Gatica S, Stecher JF, Valenzuela S, Ahlers I. [Methodological flaws on abortion estimates for Latin America: authors' reply to Singh and Bankole]. Ginecol Obstet Mex 2012;80(11):740-7


  • Koch E, Bravo M, Gatica S, Stecher JF, Aracena P, et al. Sobrestimación del aborto inducido en Colombia y otros países latinoamericanos. Ginecol Obstet Mex 2012;80(5):360-372. 7


  • Koch E, Bravo M, Romero C, Díaz A, Castañeda H, Aguilera H, Nivelo M, Romero T. Height, an early life predictor of cardiovascular risk factors and mortality in Chilean adults: Tha San Francisco Project Cohort Study. Rev Chil Cardiol 2011;30(3):198-206.


  • Koch E, Romero T, Romero CX, Aguilera H, Paredes M, Vargas M, Ahumada C. Early life and adult socioeconomic influences on mortality risk: preliminary report of a 'pauper rich' paradox in a Chilean adult cohort. Ann Epidemiol 2010;20:487-92.


  • Koch E, Romero T, Romero CX, Akel C, Manríquez L, Paredes M, Román C, Taylor A, Vargas M, Kirschbaum A. Impact of education, income and chronic disease risk factors on mortality of adults: does 'a pauper-rich paradox' exist in Latin American societies? Public Health 2010;124:39- 48.


  • Koch E, Bogado M, Araya F, Romero T, Diaz C, Manriquez L, Paredes M, Roman C, Taylor A, Kirschbaum A. Impact of parity on anthropometric measures of obesity controlling by multiple confounders. A cross-sectional study in Chilean women. J Epidemiol Community Health 2008;62(5): 461-470.


  • Koch E, Otárola A, Romero T, Kirschbaum A, Ortúzar E. Popperian epidemiology and the logic of bi-conditional modus tollens arguments for rafutational analysis of randomised controlled trials. Med Hypotheses 2006;67:980-988.


  • Koch E, Otarola A, Kirschbaum A. A landmark for Popperian epidemiology: refutation of the randomised aldactone evaluation Study. J Epidemiol Community Health 2005;59(11):1000-1007.


  • Koch E, Romero T, Manriquez L, et al. Socioeconomic and educational inequities as independent predictors for mortality in a developing country: A cohort study in San Francisco, Chile. Rev Méd Chil 2007;135:1370-79.

  • Koch E, Otarola A, Manriquez L, Kirschbaum A, Paredes M, Silva C. Predictors of non fatal cardiovascular events in a Chilean cohort: results of the San Francisco Project. Rev Med Chil 2005; 133(9): 1002-12.


  • Rojas B, Sandoval D, Koch E, Díaz C, Akel C, Kirschbaum A. Enfermedades músculo esqueléticas en población hipertensa y su asociación con obesidad. Un estudio transversal en la Región Metropolitana, Chile. Rev Chil Cardiol 2008;27: 153-165.


  • Koch E, Romero T, Manríquez L, Taylor A, Román C, Paredes M, Díaz C, Kirschbaum A. Waist to height ratio: a better predictor of cardiovascular risk factors and mortality in Chilean adults. Diagnostic nomograms from the San Francisco project. Rev Chil Cardiol 2008; 27:11-21.


  • Mallol J, Koch E, Caro N, Sempertegui G, Madrid R. Prevalence of respiratory illnesses in infants whose mothers smoked tobacco during pregnancy. Rev Chil Enfer Respir 2007;23:23-29.


  • Llantén R, Alarcón D, Herrera M, Koch E, Leppe J. Six minute walk test according to the American Thoracic Society. An assessment of normal weight healthy Chilean children 6 to 14 years of age. Rev Chil Cardiol 2007;26:123-33.


  • Koch E, Diaz C, Romero T, et al. Waist-to-Height ratio to predict mortality in Chilean adults. An 8 year follow-up study. Rev Chil Cardiol 2007;26:415-428.


  • Koch E, Otarola A, Romero T, Manriquez L, Paredes M, Kirschbaum A, Ortuzar E, Taylor A, Carolinne R, Vargas M. Anthropometric indexes and risk of non-fatal cardiovascular events in a Chilean population. The San Francisco Project. Rev Chil Cardiol 2006;25(2):173-84.


  • Koch E, Otarola A, Romero T, Kirschbaum A, Manriquez L, Paredes M. Social inequality as a cardiovascular risk factor in Chile. Rev Chil Cardiol 2005; 24(3):280-9.


  • Kirschbaum A, Koch E, Otarola A. Teoría de la ciencia de Karl R. Popper: el principio de falsación como criterio de objetividad y honestidad científica. Psiquiatría y Salud Mental 2005;22(1/2):106-16.


  • Koch E, Otarola A, Silva C, Manriquez L, Kirschbaum A. Capacidad aeróbica, composición corporal y gasto calórico asociado a oxidación de sustratos energéticos durante el ejercicio en mujeres sedentarias con sobrepeso. Rev Chil Cardiol 2005; 24(2):174-83.


  • Koch E, Silva C, Manriquez L, Ahumada C. Proyecto San Francisco parte I: alta prevalencia de factores de riesgo cardiovascular en población adulta mayor de 15 años. Rev Chil Cardiol 2000; 19(1): 27 – 42.

Board of Directors


Cristian Vargas, MD

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Doctor of Medicine from the Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción and Bachelor of Arts in Bioethics from the Ateneo Regina Apostolorum in Rome. He has an extensive career in university teaching spanning more than 14 years, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in areas of health.

In 2015, he received the Human Life Promoters Award from the Rector of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Dr. Ignacio Sánchez.

Medical Deputy Director of MELISA Institute since August 2017. He leads areas such as clinical protocol execution, medical genetics and proteomics services.



Biochemist and MSc in Microbiology. Mauricio received his bachelor’s and biochemistry degree in 2008 from the Universidad Austral de Chile. In addition, he received the MSc. degree in Microbiology in 2013 at the same house of studies.

Mr. Hernández has been head of our proteogenomics laboratory since August 2018. Previously, he served as a biochemist in activities related to molecular biology and biomolecules purification at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences of the Universidad Austral de Chile in 2010. Also as a professor at the Universidad Santo Tomas in the city of Valdivia, Head of subjects in the areas of Chemistry and Microbiology to careers related to the area of health, between 2011 and 2012. He then served as head of the proteomics laboratory of the AUSTRAL center at the Universidad Austral de Chile for 6 years, additionally as professor of proteomics to undergraduate and postgraduate courses in that study house.

Among its activities are the realization of services of protein purification, mass spectrometry, peptide synthesis, among other proteomic services, both to national and international institutions.


Mauricio Hernández, MSc

Chief Laboratory Officer (CLO)


Doctor of Medicine from the Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción, Postgraduate in Obstetrics and Gynecology from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile;  Master's Degree in Orientation and Family Mediation from the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca. Expert in natural methods of fertility regulation from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Roma.


Ten years of experience in the clinical area of ​​obstetrics and gynecology, especially in natural fertility.


Currently developing the area of ​​Medical Affairs and Clinical Trials at MELISA Institute.


Juan Francisco Stecher, MD

Chief Medical Officer (CMO)


Kinesiologist from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Chile, dedicated to biomedical research.


Eight years of experience in the area of maternal health, collaborating in clinical protocols, collection of population data and epidemiological studies in Chile and other Latin American countries.

Currently collaborating in investigations of natural experiments in the area of Epidemiology at MELISA Institute.


Miguel Bravo

Chief Operational Officer (COO)